Appearing on this blog will be a new community we will refer to as “The Well”. The Well is a product of the people surrounding me seeking and requesting a place to share and gain encouragement in their daily lives while even in the heat of the toughest moments of life.
The desire is that this is a place to draw out for oneself or give refreshment to another. I am not sure how often we will post but our titles will always be “The Well” each time.
Under the comments of these posts feel free to share your prayer requests, questions or concerns that the readers of The Well can support you with, likewise feel free to post support and encouragement for one another.
We will begin with today’s post:
The Well is a location meant to be a place of rest and rejuvenation, a place where answers are given and encouragement is received, new perspective and words of life are spoken. In contrast to our well, wishing wells are a place where a token is simply dropped into the water based on a wish sent to no one in particular, seemingly so empty. This well that we have is truly deeper much like the story in John 4; if we recall the Samaritan woman comes alone to the well to draw her water as told in verse 4 Now he (Jesus) had to go through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.). 9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.[a])10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
We do know from John 4:9 that Samaritans did not associate with Jews and we know the woman at the well was alone and possibly not the most popular woman in town, known for her sin as she describes in later verses to Jesus in John 4 vs. 17 and 18 and He to her in truth by His knowledge;
17The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said unto her, “Thou hast well said, ‘I have no husband’;18 for thou hast had five husbands, and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband. In that thou saidst truly.”
What can we do when someone has spoken about our lives in a depth they shouldn't know, that they couldn’t know and there is nothing left to hide...what a release, a freedom and yet guilt, shame and embarrassment, but we are at the well and much is to be drawn from the well of living water.
Where we have left off in our story back at verse 10, the woman is not yet done getting her answers. Just as in the beginning of the meeting when Jesus offers her the Living water she looks for when He says, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
Isn’t her answer interesting, she obviously doesn’t yet “know” the One who offers her a drink and she mustn’t know the gift of God because her next remark isn’t a resounding “Yes! By all means give me this life securing gift, give me this living water, until it overflows.” No, instead it is another question because of her limited perspective and past experiences she is drawing off of:
11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”
13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.
It would appear the story is over but Jesus goes for her heart, this is where Jesus asks her to call her husband and come back (and we have read her response in verse 17 above that she has no husband). This is where her past experiences measure up and everything she may be hiding is brought to an end. After she is confronted and the wound brought open she says…
19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
The woman has more questions, the rules of men that have hurt her, maybe made her feel less than others, maybe caused her to question faith and what is right…because she trusts Jesus and He sees her as she is and is not judging her she asks for sound truth and guidance in the stuck places of life.
Jesus answer is the foretelling of the new promise to come, not through rules and laws but fulfilled through a sacrifice of love. Later on He would live this truth He speaks of.
21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
At that moment she is open to realize she had an encounter with the King. She believes and is changed. Something shifts in us when we realize that we can drink of the living water that is better than anything we have seen, experienced, or been told. She is measured up against the truth of her life, she meets someone that she thinks should be totally uninterested in her and she is surprised to see the interest in her that is taken, the value in her that is seen…the worth that she has in Christ that He would share His living water, His very Spirit with the likes of her. It doesn’t matter in that moment the rules, the divisions, and the brokenness; the God of the universe reached down and noticed her.
She had an encounter at the well that went much deeper than simply water to be drawn. Her soul was drawn out, pain was weighed, lies washed away and truth established. These are the moments life is about. Where nothing else matters. The pain, rejection, silence, disappointment, grief, shut doors, falseness, brokenness, lack, suffering, pointlessness and searching all find a reason in this one moment- it all makes sense because someone much, much bigger cares for us.
Whatever it is we need, whatever it is we are searching for can be found in this living water, in Christ who is still just as present today in our moments. Maybe through a book, the Bible, a stranger, a friend, something so chance…..whatever it is He may use it to stoop down at your well, seek you out of your moment, argue with you if need be about why it is He can talk with you and clear up who He really is, if that is what you need to get to the heart of what it is He wants to do in you. He wants to move us, release us. This life is a moving of our hearts to stir for One greater.
Does life seem meaningless? Then get thirsty because there is plenty of water to drink. Does death seem better? Then dip in because it is going to get better than your wildest dreams…search Him out, call His name and I guarantee you He will show up and fill you so that the questions we have become a laugh. They become so small compared with the grace found in what He has done and it will leave us saying: I am all in Lord show me what to do next. Rest assured He will, He has only just begun and great things are coming in your life- you are being served living water by the King.
An estimated two years later after the encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well Luke writes about a Samaritan village that Jesus wanted to cross through on His way to Jerusalem shortly before His crucifixion and fulfillment of His conversation with the woman at the well about where we worship.
Luke 9:51-55New King James Version (NKJV)A Samaritan Village Rejects the Savior
51 Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, 52 and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. 53 But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem. 54 And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?”[a]
55 But He turned and rebuked them,[b] and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of.
The bible does not say if these are the same village or not but in a matter of a few years’ time one Samaritan village open wide its doors and maybe the same, maybe another similar village shut its doors to the Lord.
In the village of the woman at the well, she goes on to share with the people in town about the man that told her everything and pronounced He was Lord. The Bible says because of that woman’s story the Samaritan’s urged Jesus to stay for two days and many more became believers.
One town open, one town shut, many or none, full or empty, freedom or chains, intense thirst or satisfied. Which will we choose?